Every day we like to shine a spotlight on people doing amazing work — both with Charity Miles and without. Today we’re featuring Linus Ly, a runner who moved to the U.S. from Vietnam 30 years ago, and has since graduated college, bought a home, and had a child!

Here’s what he had to say:

What is your greatest accomplishment as of late?
Completing the Yonkers Marathon in 2012. It was the first time I ran a marathon with a GPS watch. Before that, at the Brooklyn Marathon in 2011, I had a nagging feeling I somehow skipped a loop so I wasn’t sure of my time. Having it completed with my own timing device at last confirmed for myself that I can do it. Yonkers was a hilly course and is the second oldest marathon, after Boston.

How did you achieve it?
While I did not religiously follow any particular training program, I did make lifestyle changes, like no more late-night Web-surfing and watching very little TV. I live in a flat area so I had to go out of my neighborhood to find hills to train for. I ran almost everyday, rain or shine, and sometimes really early in the morning before work. Social media made a great contribution, too. Many years ago I ran only sporadically, but since 2009 I’ve kept an online journal of my activities — having interactions with others helps too.

What motivates you to make the world a better place?
I consider myself lucky to have my health and my family. I came to the U.S. as a boat person from Vietnam after about a year in refugee camp in Indonesia. It was a life-changing experience that turned out for the better. I want to give back to the world in my own small way.

What do you do to stay healthy and fit?
Running is my favorite sport, but I also go swimming, usually with my son, and I bike whenever I need to travel within Brooklyn.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Replenish the body during races. I used to worry about making myself dependent on chemicals and would run races on empty stomach and take nothing else other than water. Then I learned that the body can only hold so much to keep one moving during physical exertions.

What’s your favorite aspect of using Charity Miles?
The very idea of fundraising and exercising — one of those things that makes you wonder why it was not done before.

Who do you exercise for, and why?
I exercise mostly for myself, to stay healthy, but also to be an example for others. The body is the most important possession anyone can have. It needs to be kept active or it will just go to waste. I’ve also been incorporating an artistic facet to my exercise routine, by spelling out names and phrases with the GPS watch.

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